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The Clifton Partnership presents Death of a River by Emma Maranne Live Web Link Activity East Dene J&I School.

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Presentation on theme: "The Clifton Partnership presents Death of a River by Emma Maranne Live Web Link Activity East Dene J&I School."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Clifton Partnership presents Death of a River by Emma Maranne Live Web Link Activity East Dene J&I School

2 Dear Class, Im so glad that you have agreed to help me to edit my article about the poisoning of the River Tisza in Hungary. I have never written for an audience of children before and Ill be really interested to see if you understand the language I have used and if you can suggest any improvements to my text. Im really looking forward to our live web chat, but if you need any help or information you can e-mail me at Good Luck and thank you, Emma.

3 Have you ever worried about the damage an industrial accident could have on your environment? This is the shocking story of one accident and its effect on a beautiful wetland area of international importance. When an accident happened at a gold and silver mine in Romania no-one could have imagined the devastation that would affect plants, animals and humans up to a thousand kilometres away in countries throughout Europe. Journalist, Emma Maranne, on location in Eastern Europe, reports on this amazing, but horrific story. In terms of complete destruction to one eco-system this is probably worse than the Chernobyl disaster. Tom Popper, Regional Environmental Centre

4 When a dam used for the cleaning of gold overflowed into the River Tisza no-one could have predicted the complete destruction of one of the worlds most beautiful eco-systems. The water in the dam contained toxic cyanide, an incredibly powerful poison, and as this flowed down the river everything in its path, from micro-organisms to otters were wiped out. Volunteers try to save the the local wildlife.

5 Since the disaster happened on the 30 th of January the 40 kilometre long flow of toxic cyanide has travelled 1000 kilometres through Romania, Hungary and Yugoslavia, where it has now entered the River Danube. The drinking water in all three countries has also been poisoned and tests have shown that the level of cyanide in the water was 700 times higher than a safe amount. It is impossible not to feel sympathy for the local people who are quite understandably worried about their health. The affected region of Eastern Europe

6 It is the River Tisza, Hungarys second biggest river that has been most affected by the poison. The statistics are mind boggling. Experts say that there are around 650 tonnes of dead fish in or around the River and that figure is about to double within a week. The drinking water of 2.5 million people has been affected and approximately 15000 people have lost their jobs in the fishing industry. In terms of animal life, scientists state that it will take about 5 years to replace all the fish but, some species of insects and plants are thought to be impossible to replace and are gone forever. Some of the 650 tonnes of dead fish are removed.

7 Ironically, the River Tisza was one of the cleanest rivers in Europe with a whole range of beautiful plants and animals. In years gone by the water was crystal clear and as clean as pure spring water. The Hungarian Government was in the middle of applying for an award designed to take care of wetlands of international importance. They may as well rip up their application now, said an angry Jozsef Feiler of Friends of the Earth, Everything in the whole river is dead. There is more life in a toilet sewage pipe than in this river. Nothing is alive. Zero. Jozsef Feiler, Friends of the Earth, Hungary.

8 Brave local people have grouped together to try to help, and they are currently working around the clock to remove the dead fish to stop the disaster spreading up the food chain. Hunters are also trying to keep larger animals away, but they have been too late in many cases as a large number of dead foxes and otters have already been found after feeding on the fish. It is a truly tragic sight to see the still, lifeless bodies of these magnificent creatures slumped by the side of the river. Environmentalists are particularly worried about five pairs of very rare ospreys. These beautiful birds of prey are the only ones in the whole of Eastern Europe and one has already been found dead after feasting on the plentiful supply of floating fish. A rare osprey is nursed back to health.

9 The Hungarian people have been devastated by the catastrophe. They loved the river Tisza and fondly refer to it as the blonde river because of the sandy colouring of the water, and have always thought that it was more beautiful than its more famous sister the Danube. Mr. Feiler said that he had seen people in tears as they cleared up, Its just terrible seeing these huge fish and other animals writhing in agony. People are very emotional about this. We have never had anything like this. When a person drowns in Hungary, people throw flowers into the water and light candles along the banks. This week they have been mourning for the Tisza itself. This kind of catastrophe should never be allowed to happen again. Heartbroken residents throw flowers into the river.

10 The owners of the gold and silver mine are an Australian company called Esmerelda. Hungarian officials have been very critical of the company stating that it was madness to store poisons so close to a river. Esmerelda should be ashamed of themselves, as they feel that it was not their fault and that the flooding was caused by larger than average snow falls. A spokesperson for the company stated, Yes, some cyanide did get in the water, but we dont feel it did as much damage as these environmentalists are making out. We feel that the fish could be dying through lack of oxygen which can happen when rivers freeze over. That has nothing to do with us, its just nature. Esmerelda Spokesperson, Tom Patterson.

11 Hungarian officials are amazed at the companys lack of remorse and Mr. Feiler snapped, We know enough about fish to know that they are not dying from the cold! As the argument rages on, the animals are the real victims and local people can only show their sadness by throwing flowers in the water and flying black flags from the top of their churches as a mark of respect. The lifeless River Tisza carries its poison towards the sea.

12 The tragic events in and around the River Tisza only go to show how easily the fragile and beautiful world of nature can be destroyed by the careless behaviour of human beings. The attitude of the mining company Esmerelda is shocking considering the overwhelming amount of evidence showing that they have caused this disaster. I really cannot see how even the most determined volunteers can ever hope to replace the plant and animal life that has been destroyed. The future may be an extremely sad and frustrating time for the people who loved this once beautiful and healthy river. Emma Maranne (Reporting from Hungary)

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